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Linux Developers Create Open Broadcom WiFi Firmware

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  • Linux Developers Create Open Broadcom WiFi Firmware

    Phoronix: Linux Developers Create Open Broadcom WiFi Firmware

    An increasing number of hardware vendors are adopting practices that benefit the open-source and Linux communities from AMD releasing documentation and code to Creative Labs open-sourcing their X-Fi sound driver. One of the companies holding back on better embracing Linux has been Broadcom with their WiFi adapters being ill supported...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Njk4Mg

  • #2
    This is the best news I've read all day.

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    • #3
      about time

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      • #4
        me again

        paragraph 3, line 1, s/compliant/compatible
        less confusing

        remove this comment when resolved

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        • #5
          Reverse Engineered == Full of bugs, bad corner cases

          Unfortunately for the b43 and b43-legacy projects, the fact they are both reverse engineered means that they are at most as good as the proprietary Windows driver from which they derive. Most likely however, they are missing many corner cases that were never reverse engineered. Same's true for this RE'ed firmware.

          Broadcom is pulling an NVIDIA with a thin GPL layer wrapping a binary blob for Linux, under pressure from DELL and HP. They have no intention of ever releasing it as open source, despite what DELL wants you to think. If they did, they would have built it around the mac80211 stack.

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          • #6
            AP support

            From the link in the article it seems that AP mode is supported with this firmware. It might be me, but I never got AP mode working with the original firmware with this card, except on my router (ASUS wl500gP) which uses a 2.4 kernel, just because of the fact that only the old driver supported AP moed. So this means I would be able to run a 2.6 kernel on my router and that openwrt can move to 2.6 kernels only. I definately hope that the missing features get implemented soon, this totally rocks.

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            • #7
              Broadcom is pulling an NVIDIA with a thin GPL layer wrapping a binary blob for Linux, under pressure from DELL and HP. They have no intention of ever releasing it as open source, despite what DELL wants you to think. If they did, they would have built it around the mac80211 stack.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you people that are working on making stuff work.

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                • #9
                  I hope Broadcom blows up tomorrow (without its workers of course).

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                  • #10
                    Broadcom's wifi chips are pretty darn common...and most are a PITA to get working properly in Linux (exception of ndiswrapper)

                    If Broadcom did what Atheros did then their chips would become more usable and popular

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                      One of the companies holding back on better embracing Linux has been Broadcom with their WiFi adapters being ill supported...
                      Ill supported? The broadcom wireless chip in my WRT54G works perfectly with busybox, so you might want to rephrase that to something like "Broadcom doesn't support consumer level Linux" instead of just calling their chips ill supported.

                      It's also a shame that they decided to license it solely under the GPL instead of using a dual license with the 2 clause BSD so that everyone in free software can use it and not just linux snobs.

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